What are some of the tourist spots that come to your mind when you think of Amritsar? Golden Temple, Wagah Border, and Jallianwala Bagh are the most likely answers. However, do you know that the city has much more to offer apart from these popular destinations? Here are five hidden gems in the city you must visit to bring about a twist to your next Amritsar trip.
Although located just 100 metres from the Golden Temple, this fortress is ignored by most visitors. One of the five prominent forts in Amritsar, Quila Ahluwalia was built by Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (1718-1783), a recognised Sikh leader of that time, as a base to visit the nearby Golden Temple easily and to take quick action in the course of an attack on the city or the shrine. However, only two of its gates and a small portion of the fort remain. Although the original architecture of the fort is missing, the colonial structures–which were later added–are in good condition.
Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Situated in the historic Rambagh, popularly known as Company Bagh, the palace was opened to the public in February 2022 after fourteen years of conservation work. You can also visit the recently opened museum, where artefacts and weapons, including swords, daggers and rifles of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era have been displayed for the public.
Gurudwara Guru Ka Mahal
Situated at the main street of Guru Bazaar near the Golden Temple, this gurudwara was established in the 1500s by Guru Ram Das as his residence. The birthplace of Baba Atal Rai and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, it also served as the residence of Sri Guru Hargobind Singh. It was converted into a shrine by Guru Arjan Dev and his son, Guru Hargobind Singh.
Sarai Amanat Khan
The Mughals built Sarai Amanat Khan as a sarai (resting place) on the Grand Trunk Road in a small village southwest of Amritsar. It was named after Amanat Khan, the calligrapher of the Taj Mahal, who is credited with inscribing verses from the Quran on the Taj Mahal.
Pul Kanjri is a historical site situated 35km from Amritsar on the Amritsar-Lahore road, near the villages of Dhanoa Khurd and Dhanoa Kalan on the Wagah border. Built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, this is the place he used to rest at while travelling with his troops. This fortress also contains a bathing pool, a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque.